November 17 - 1558 - The Accession of Queen Elizabeth I
Few monarchs have had a greater impact on a nation than Queen Elizabeth I did on England. When she took the throne, the truly remarkable thing was that she had even made it to 1558 and the age of 25. Elizabeth was the second child of Henry VIII, and the first child with his second wife Anne Boleyn. Henry's marriage to Anne Boleyn was the catalyst for the English Reformation, as he divorced his first wife Catherine of Aragon and bastardized his elder daughter Mary. Quickly, Henry had Anne executed, making Elizabeth a bastard at two years old. Eventually, Elizabeth's half brother Edward took the throne, furthering his father's Reformation by making England more Protestant. Then Edward died young, and Mary took the throne, returning England to Catholicism. Throughout her early life, Elizabeth was simultaneously a remarkably devoted servant to her siblings and a looming threat to the monarch. Yet when Mary passed away, Elizabeth turned out to be the best option for an heir. This made England Protestant once again, and allowed the Kingdom to enter into the Elizabethan age.